By Gary Larson, executive vice president and general manager of HIE solutions, eHealth Technologies.
The Strategic Health Information Collaborative (SHIEC) Annual Conference took place again, this time as a five-week virtual event from August 17 to September 15.
Having come to grips with my lost opportunity to socialize with several hundred of my closest friends and colleagues, the fact that this year’s SHIEC sessions were spaced out over such a long stretch of time provided an interesting opportunity to reflect on the state of affairs in health information exchange (HIE).
In one sense, the 2020 conference resembled previous years – a gathering of largely the same group of industry representatives who eat, sleep and breathe HIE and reinforce among ourselves what we already know to be true.
We already know that our healthcare system will improve only as health information exchange improves. We already know we will never have a truly efficient and effective healthcare system until:
- we are able to acquire, validate, and normalize health records from all points of care
- we are able to curate and present records in a meaningful way at the point of care
- we establish workable standards for interoperability between systems and networks
- we remove the barriers to sharing healthcare information
- we provide public health services with comprehensive, high quality health data in a timely manner
These are inarguable truths, yet many of us are frustrated with the painstakingly slow progress we seem to make year-upon-year.